Three men have been arrested following a violent robbery at an Auckland liquor store, while community leaders met to discuss solutions to an apparent rise in violence against shopkeepers.
The three accused, aged 16, 17 and 20, were arrested after police carried out several search warrants in South Auckland yesterday morning, Detective Sergeant Rob Cleary, of Counties Manukau Police, said.
CCTV footage of last Wednesday night's Otahuhu liquor shop robbery shows the shopkeeper desperately attempting to fend off three offenders.
The shopkeeper was beaten and suffered minor injuries during the robbery.
Cleary said the alleged 17-year-old offender is facing two charges of aggravated robbery, while the other two alleged offenders have each been charged with one count of aggravated robbery.
The trio were due to appear in the Manukau District Court today.
"These arrests have come about as a result of great assistance by members of the public," Cleary said.
"This community will not tolerate this type of offending and we hope that the help we've had here and the swift arrests is heartening to retailers."
Meanwhile, community leaders, including Associate Minister of Justice Mark Mitchell, met last weekend to discuss potential solutions to a perceived increase in violent robberies.
A petition will also be submitted by crime-prevention group Stop Crime NZ to Parliament, calling for a review of the effectiveness of current police policies and strategy.
At least six shops in Auckland have been robbed in the past two weeks, while at least a further two have been reported from the weekend, Stop Crime NZ founder Sunny Kaushal told the Herald.
Following a community meeting about crime against shopkeepers he said small business owners now "constantly live in fear".
"Brutal attacks in broad daylight in public places, shows the offenders have no fear of being caught," he said.
Today, Kaushal said a community protest march was being planned for Queen St or Manukau next month.